Joy Imogene Fortinberry

Joy Imogene Fortinberry, 96 (missed her 97th birthday by 3 hours), passed away on June 16, 2021, at HPH Hospice in Lecanto, FL.  She was born in Frankfort, IN, on June 17, 1924, to Samuel H. Cutler and Mamie Pearl McLain Cutler.  She is preceded in death by both parents, her beloved husband of 55 years, Milton James (Jim) Fortinberry who passed away in 2000, her brother Tom Cutler, and 4 sisters, Lola Smith, Virginia Hodgin, Leona Collins, and Letha Phillippe.  Joy is survived by her son, Ronald Fortinberry (Sheree), daughters Connie Bookwalter (Bill) and Penny Napp (Larry), 4 grandchildren, Chad, Justin(Perlina),Staccie (Chris) and Shannon (Eric)and 6 great grandchildren, Miles, Audrey, Camden, Tristyn, Blake and Todd.

During the height of the Great Depression, her father died leaving her mother to raise 6 children.  Through those tough times, Joy developed an attitude to always make the best with what you have and enjoy your time together.  She was an eternal optimist that always reminded us to look on the bright side of things.  She had a compassion and love of life that she shared with all she touched.

Joy and Jim enjoyed camping and spent several seasons at Roth Park where all her siblings would meet with their families. Those were some great  times that are still cherished and remembered by all of her family.

She retired from Indiana Bell Telephone Company in 1978 as Manager of Operator Services, first in Frankfort, IN, and then in Kokomo, IN.  She and Jim then moved to Margate, Florida to be near their daughter, Penny.  She most enjoyed her spare time with her loving family, cooking, playing board games, card games, dice games and her beloved Bingo. She was an avid reader.

For the past 16 years, Joy resided at Brentwood Retirement Community, Lecanto, FL, first in an independent-living apartment and later in assisted living.  When she was able, she enjoyed all the activities with her many new friends:  Bridge, Horse Racing Games, Bingo, excursions to local attractions, and for several years she was on the welcoming committee for new residents.  She moved to assisted living in 2017.  We are grateful for the loving care she received while there.

Interment with a private family service will be held in Frankfort, IN, at Greenlawn Cemetery.  A Celebration of Life will be held on August 21st, 2021, in Frankfort, IN.  If you would like to honor her memory, the family suggests donations to HPH Hospice in Lecanto, FL, in lieu of flowers.

Online condolences may be directed to and will be shared at Joy’s Celebration of Life.


  1. Joy was my best friend for 75 years. We met in 1946, both Don and Jim worked for the railroad and were friends.We took many trips together through the years, always having such a good time. Beautiful memories.I always loved her like a sister and many people thought we were sisters. She was always such a joy to be around, always laughing. She called me less than a month ago , just was thinking about Me, wondering how I was. Will see you again, someday, my friend. Love you. From Jean Johnson

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